Danny Boyle’s long-gestating plans for a film about David Bowie have been dealt a seemingly fatal blow with the Mean White Duke refusing to let any of his songs be used.
Speaking to the Radio Times, Boyle said he was “in grief” and that he had chosen to direct the new Steve Jobs biopic to “fill the space in my heart left by the abandoned Bowie script.”
It’s not the first time Bowie has snubbed the Oscar-winning director: in 2012 he refused to perform at the Olympic opening ceremony, which was directed by Boyle and written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, who has also penned the Bowie biopic. This was despite Bowie launching new album The Next Day just a few months later in January 2013.
Perhaps the Brixton-born singer wasn't a fan of the way his 1977 hit Heroes was played to death every five minutes during the sporting event; or maybe he didn't care for how Boyle turned Lust For Life, which he co-wrote with Iggy Pop, into the earworm of a generation after using it in his Scottish drugs film Trainspotting.
Earlier this month month, Boyle confided to Happy Sad Confused podcast that his plans for the Bowie film were a bit unconventional but was insistent it needed the real songs to work. "It's a wonderful script, by Frank Cottrell Boyce. It's a sort of musical, but we couldn't get the music rights. I didn't want it to go down the route of 'Velvet Goldmine,' which couldn't use the music, and used different music, and fictionalized it and stuff like that. So, we had to put it away for the moment."
Whether the film can be brought back to life remains to be seen, perhaps there's more chance of finding Life On Mars.